Helena (she/her) is a self-taught musician that has put out over 50 releases on her Bandcamp over the course of 6 years, ranging from simple acoustic pieces to black metal, to ambient pieces exceeding twenty minutes in length. Throughout her catalog, she has explored themes such as Romanticism, existentialism, post-modernist gender philosophy, and psychology. Her work can best be described as experimental. Helena’s main instruments are guitar, voice, and synthesizers, although she has ventured into prepared pianos and looping techniques. Although her live performances are few, she aims to have many more in the future. She most recently performed under the moniker La Peste on the live-streamed music festival Toronto Noise Fest.
Note: In support of the movement for Black lives, 100% of the proceeds from Elena's release, Tell Me, How Does It Feel to be One of the Beautiful People? will be donated to the Chicago Bail Fund.
Tell Me, How Does It Feel to be One of the Beautiful People?
The suite, "Tell Me, How Does It Feel to be One of the Beautiful People?" is an exploration in Deep Listening, as proposed by Pauline Oliveros. It is best summed up in the quote: "If you're tuned out, then you're not in contact with your surroundings. You have to process what you hear. Hearing and listening are not the same thing."
The suite is an abrasive, confrontational listen through harsh noise, drone, and ambient music and showcases existential themes as proposed by Jean-Paul Sartre, as well as gender dysphoria, transness, and isolation. The overall message of the piece can be best described in this quote from Being and Nothingness: “Society demands that he limit himself to his function… There are indeed many precautions to imprison a man in what he is as if we lived in perpetual fear that he might escape from it, that he might break away and suddenly elude his condition.”
Combining these two ideologies - living life and experiencing the world passively and breaking away from the very condition of our functions (re: gender) - an individual may break away from cisnormativity, heterosexuality, and the ever-present cycle of depression, anxiety, and trauma.
©2020 Helena Dryjanski